Many business owners do not think of TikTok as a social media platform for promotions. They think of it as something silly and entertaining that works as an escape for kids. They would rather concentrate on Facebook and Instagram than invest time and resources on TikTok. Many business owners see TikTok as a platform where Generation Z and Millennials create memes for their audience. However, one cannot ignore TikTok from a business perspective any longer, especially if they wish to target the younger generations. According to their figures, they have more than 80 million active users in America. Around 60% of their users are between the age of 16 to 24, while 26% are between 24 to 44. That means TikTok has the potential to become an essential marketing platform for SMBs that want to target a younger audience. Not Too Late to Hop On It is not surprising that several big players like McDonald’s, NBC, and the Washington Post have started using the platform to promote their brands and activities. TikTok claims that it is a powerful platform for SMBs to engage with their target audience in unique ways. They also pointed out that many new business owners are from the younger generation aged between 18 to 34. That means they already know how to use TikTok to promote their companies. Cori Widen, a product marketing manager at Lightricks, notes that the looser audience expectations on TikTok make it ideal as a channel for SMBs to focus their marketing efforts. “Unlike Instagram, the content on TikTok is spontaneous and unpolished,” she says in a blog post for the Boosted video maker app. “Not only does this lower production costs, but it also appeals more to younger audiences who are averse to more traditional marketing styles.” In fact, 2021 might just be the perfect time for SMBs to start promoting their businesses on TikTok. The social media platform has recently announced a new range of promotions, advertising tools, and educational sessions to commemorate National Small Business Week. These new features and efforts will help SMBs to use the platform to promote their business using short video clips. TikTok is urging its communities to discover small businesses using the hashtag #SupportSmallBusiness and show their favorite ones some love. It is also requesting business owners to share their experiences and offer the communities a sneak peek into their products and services. Business owners can make small videos about packing their orders or behind-the-scenes tutorials. They can also use a platform to offer motivation and business advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. TikTok mentioned that they are excited to see businesses interacting with their supporters on the platform. According to the social media giant, many small businesses have achieved success using TikTok clips and making them viral. For example, Artesana Soaps in Arkansas could endure during the pandemic owing to its presence on TikTok. Increasing AdTech Sophistication Of course, not every business can become popular overnight using TikTok content. However, the social media platform hopes to improve the opportunities for SMBs to get discovered through the app. That is why TikTok has announced its partnership with Nielsen to optimize its ad tools. Businesses will be able to use the geo-targeting features of Nielsen’s Designated Market Area (DMA) for their ad campaigns. It will provide a more direct focus for the advertising efforts based on advanced market segmentation. DMA’s geo-targeting features offer more granular location targeting options for those business owners who wish to reach their target customers in the United States. The features allow business owners to target standard geographic areas. A worthy follow up to 2020’s “Small Gestures” campaign that featured collaborations with brands, DMA enables you to share relevant and impactful information and reach your target audience in specific geos. This will save a lot of time and resources for SMBs. They will also get beneficial insights from Nielsen, with optimized geographic data that will allow business owners to enhance the accuracy of their TikTok advertisements. SMB owners will be able to focus on specific markets and target audience subsets within their local regions. Audio Coaching for SMBs TikTok has also launched a new TikTok for Business Club on Clubhouse. The social media platform showcases a series of interviews with SMB owners who have achieved success using TikTok. These interviews are happening every Friday at 11:00 AM EST throughout May. It will give SMB owners in the country a chance to learn how to promote their business on TikTok and find relevant communities. TikTok recently posted its first event for SMBs to get acclimated with the social media platform. This event was also aimed for business owners to learn more about the platform’s creators and dispel any misconceptions. The event was aimed at courting SMB advertisers by showing them how to use the social media application to create content that can resonate with the target audience on the platform. The company also opened its “self-serve” platform recently, which allows business owners to purchase and manage their ad campaigns directly. Since then, major advertisers like Dunkin’, Pepsi, Aldo, and several other big brand names have started running their campaigns on the platform. TikTok probably wants to continue building its database of SMB advertisers to land on an even playing field with its competitors. Why TikTok Needs You The major players for online advertising like Google and Facebook have allowed small businesses to purchase ads directly for some time now. Facebook revealed in the second quarter of 2020 that the bulk of its ad revenue comes from small advertisers. The social media giant said that its present growth is driven primarily by SMBs. That is why TikTok is hosting events and launching attitudes for small and medium businesses to increase their market share of advertisements. They hope that SMB owners can become TikTok fluent from TikTok curious through these campaigns. TikTok is also using these events to show how the platform works with Shopify and how to build ad creatives specifically for the platform. Final Thoughts So as we can see, TikTok can be the ideal social media platform to promote SMBs in 2021. But as with the marketing strategies for other social media platforms, it may take a new business some time to gain traction. Therefore, it is necessary to build a brand that excites and benefits the target audience. A bit of creativity and ingenuity can go a long way to promote a new or an established brand on TikTok in 2021.